Mountain lion killed in car crash in Connecticut

A large cat believed to be a mountain lion was spotted in Greenwich, CT. (DEP)

June 11, 2011 10:24:59 AM PDT
The mountain lion seen roaming in Connecticut has apparently been killed in an auto accident.

Police said a 2006 Hyundai Tucson SUV collided with the big cat around 1:00 a.m. on Saturday on Wilbur Cross Parkway in the area of Exit 55 in Milford.

The mountain lion died due to injuries sustained during the collision, officials said. The driver of the vehicle was not injured.

The 140-pound male mountain lion has been transferred to a DEP facility for further examination. The large cat may be the one sighted in Greenwich on Sunday, June 5.

The Connecticut DEP has been cooperating with the Town of Greenwich Police Department to investigate recent sightings of a large cat in the King Street area of Greenwich. Based on photographs taken of the animal and other evidence it appeared that the animal was a mountain lion.

Mountain lions can travel long distances and may have found its way to Milford, about 40 miles away, official said.

There is no native population of mountain lions in Connecticut and the eastern mountain lion has been declared extinct by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. DEP officials have speculated that the animal escaped from a handler or was released.

This incident is still under investigation by DEP EnCon Police, part of which will be to determine if in fact the cat killed in the collision is the same cat seen in Greenwich.